Karolina Kurkova Talks Having Covid While Pregnant + planning her third water birth.

By Ruthie Friedlander

Having graced the runways of Paris and the cover of Vogue, it’s little surprise that Karolina Kurkova lights up a room. But what really drew us in was her warmth. Now pregnant with her third child (a girl!), this supermodel welcomed us into her home. 

A total open book, Karolina talks about being a mom in the modeling industry, her children’s age differences, having Covid while pregnant, and sharing her story to support other mamas. 


Now that I’m in my third trimester, I’m feeling great! However, my first trimester was extremely difficult and completely different from my other two pregnancies; I was super nauseous and exhausted all the time. In my non-pregnant life, I’m always on the go and so are my boys. As a family, we’re constantly doing, moving, exercising, and exploring therefore I’m grateful the sickness has passed so I can rejoin them. Plus, I’m trying to take advantage of this time to prepare and organize while still having a ton of energy. 

Boy or Girl?

We’re having a girl! It’s funny, with my first baby I knew it was a boy as soon as I found out I was pregnant. With my second, I was less sure but wanted to know as quickly as possible. And with this pregnancy, I was mainly curious to find out the sex so that my sons could connect to her. Saying “she” or “her” rather than “it” bonds the boys to their new sibling and makes her feel part of our family. 

Deciding to have another child after six years?

It wasn’t exactly planned; in fact, none of our babies have been “planned,” per se. We certainly put it out into the universe, but also believe what is meant to be will be. So far, when our babies were ready to come, they’ve found us. It’s wild to think that our first and third will be 12 years apart–I guess we have one every six years!

Do you think you will mother differently now that you’re 37 versus 25?

Yes, I’m sure. With experience comes wisdom which changes how you approach things. While my essence is there, over time, I have come to look at life differently. I have two children now, and with each, I’ve learned. That said, by no means have I “figured it out.” With each baby, there’s new lessons, and all I can hope is that I grow, become more profound, more spiritual, more fun, and more present. I hope this is the case in my life and everything I do, not just as a mom. While some things are better when you’re young simply because you’re freer, other things get better with age, and we have to embrace it all, both the beautiful lessons and the challenging ones too, because it all makes us more seasoned and interesting.

Different mom to every child?

Each child is a distinct person, and therefore, I’m a different mom to each. It’s like any relationship, whether a boyfriend, parents, or best friend, you have a unique dynamic with each and perhaps even behave a little differently per relationship. Some people are better communicators; some people are not, and you form special bonds with every individual.

Birth plan?

Waterbirth, for sure! Both of my sons were born at home, and I want the same for my daughter. I will have the same midwife and doula as I had with Noah, plus my husband will be there with the boys (Tobin was present for Noah’s birth). Hopefully, my parents can travel to be here too as they were witness to Noah’s birth, and it was miraculous and intimate. I’m manifesting this and putting it out there as I’d love to do it again, but I’m also open to other options and ready for that if need be.

Covid while pregnant?

At first, finding out I had Covid while pregnant was unnerving, especially as I didn’t know anybody who had it while they were pregnant. I remember we didn’t have symptoms but decided to get tested, and sure enough, the next day, the doctor called with a ‘positive’ result. The first night I was a little scared but went into full-on mama-bear mode; I had to stay vital for everyone. I was pregnant with three guys quarantined in our apartment, and no help so every day I cleaned, cooked, vacuumed, and made fresh juices loaded with vitamin C and vitamin D to boost our immunity, all while having Covid myself! Fortunately, none of us had symptoms outside of being a little achy, but it was still intense. It’s hard to explain to a child that they can’t see their friends or go for a bike ride when they don’t feel sick, but all in, they were pretty great about it. We did our best to make it fun and lived upside down for a while because I felt terrible for the kids–the sofa turned into a trampoline, and I had to let go of my love of organization!  Now, as a bonus, it looks like the baby will have antibodies which is such a relief. There have been articles noting that pregnant women with Covid are giving birth to babies with antibodies.

Holistic modalities?

In our house, we do a lot of smoothies; they’re the perfect in-between-meal while I’m getting the boys ready for school. I load them up with all kinds of nutrients and vitamins such as probiotics, oils, fiber powder, and protein powder. I’m obsessed with my Amethyst mat and have been using it for years. It warms up to charge the body with negative ions and is very healing; the boys love it too. I’m also a huge fan of rolling my face every morning with a rose roller, plus we all go for cupping, acupuncture, and massages regularly. 

Planning to take maternity leave?

I plan to take it day by day, particularly at the beginning of my recovery. Even though I have done this twice, there’ll be a learning curve regarding sleeping, not sleeping, latching, not latching, none of which you can plan. Plus, I have two others that still need me, and I want to be there for them. 

I’m very involved, and while I couldn’t fully shut down, I’ll probably have to ease up a bit initially. Fortunately, with Gryph & Ivy Rose, I have two partners, and we’re all very supportive of one another. My guess is that I will get a lot done while breastfeeding since most of my work is done over the phone and via email rather than in person.

As for my fashion shoots, we’ll see. I’ve worked since I’m 15 years old and have traveled the world; it’s okay not to be everywhere right now, which is a huge mental shift for me. I want to enjoy this moment and be present since this could be my last baby. I feel this new journey will show me things that perhaps I’ve never thought of or been open to; I’m excited for all that’s to come. 

Plus, I co-founded a startup mask project with a girlfriend a little over a year ago in response to Covid with proceeds going to Feeding America. Unsure how long we’ll do this, but the goal is to make masks more beautiful, fun, and fashionable while still protective and giving back.

Do you feel sharing your experiences is important for other moms?

Yes, I do. I love to share my journey and connect with like-minded people or moms who might be going through something similar to learn from one another. Hopefully, by sharing, we can all feel less alone and more supported. 

Being a mom in the modeling industry?

Before my time, models that were moms often hid their kids, and most of the time, you didn’t even know they had children. Kids were never in the press, you never saw them, and if they came to a location, they would stay in the hotel with the nanny, never on set. Thankfully it’s so different now, and we can celebrate being mothers, talk about it openly, share photos and bring them to work; they can be part of our lives, and that’s beautiful. 

More and more, everybody I work with has children, so they’re understanding and compassionate. Being a parent is messy, and it means you might have a schedule, but just as you’re ready to leave, your kid has to pee or decides to have a tantrum, and sometimes that plan doesn’t work out. You can’t be rigid on things, and it’s helpful to work with people that can recognize these realities. 

Any advice?

Know that you’re doing the best you can, and that’s all you can ask of yourself. And no matter what, tomorrow is a new day; act accordingly. Plus, a little wellness and lipstick goes a long way to making you feel like a normal, alive, beautiful human.

One hope?

We all have been through a lot; therefore, I hope we can be joyous. I hope that we can live, have fun, and be free to travel and do things. I hope that our children will not have to wear masks and instead be able to touch, love and hug their friends and family; it’s truly heartbreaking to see them growing up without hugs. So yes, my hope is joy and happiness.